PO Box 4544
14 th February 2006
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This weekend marks the launch of our Diocesan Pastoral Plan
This presents an exciting and challenging time in our life as a local Church. We
belong to God’s family, the Church, and our common task is to bring the good news
of God’s saving love to all the world. This is why the Church exists. To help us do
this better in the current situation I am launching this Plan.
As you will see in the Introduction to the Pastoral Plan for the Diocese of
Christchurch that is available to parishioners today, a significant amount of work has
gone into its preparation. This however is only the beginning, as now the Plan will,
over time, be implemented in each Pastoral Area. I count on your prayer and
support in doing this together.
While the Plan presents a broad framework, consultation will be ongoing in each
Area - allowing an opportunity for ideas to be presented as to how the Plan might
operate for your Area in the future.
There are a number of key personnel involved to help in implementing the Pastoral
Plan. I ask you to pray for each of them – me as your Bishop, the future Coadjutor
Bishop, your priests, Mike Stopforth – my Deputy for the Pastoral Plan and Pastoral
This priest will coordinate the Pastoral Area Team – which will be made up of the
priests of the Area plus others – and they will be charged with the pastoral care for
your particular Area.
The Plan includes and describes four Pastoral Principles; Holiness, Collaboration,
Communio and Mission. These come from the Vision and form the foundation of the
whole Plan. I gratefully acknowledge the wonderful work and the many ways that
you are already applying these Principles in the name of the Church. The Plan asks
us to look anew at the possibilities in our own Pastoral Areas.
The Plan will be implemented at different stages in different Areas. The first Area to
be worked in will be South Canterbury (including the Lower Canterbury Area). The
process will be implemented slowly, but surely.
The Plan that is launched today will impact on all aspects of the Church in our
diocese; parishes, schools, chaplaincies and ministries.
I invite you to spend time reading this Introduction to the Pastoral Plan that is
available today and embrace the challenges that it presents. For those of you on the
internet the Full Plan will be available on the Diocesan website.
We ask the Holy Spirit, source of all unity, to bring us together as a Diocesan family
as we enter another exciting stage in the life of our Diocese.
God bless you.
Every best wish.
Bishop of Christchurch